Saint Stephen, Mystery Babylon, and The Beast . . .
by, Jun 25th 2010 at 05:03 PM (836 Views)
From time to time, the notion that "The Beast" of the book of Revelation is only a future entity from now is given a great consideration by the saints.
However, the witness/martyr Saint Stephen was killed in the 1st century.
And Revelation 18:24 states the following:
This verse includes Stephen, the great Christian martyr.Rev. 18:24
24 “And in her (Mystery Babylon) was found the blood of prophets and of saints and of all who have been slain on the earth.”
And so, let's look at this in the book of Acts---which was written in the 1st century also:
Wow . . .Acts 6:8-15
8 And Stephen, full of grace and power, was performing great wonders and signs among the people.
9 But some men from what was called the Synagogue of the Freedmen, including both Cyrenians and Alexandrians, and some from Cilicia and Asia, rose up and argued with Stephen.
10 But they were unable to cope with the wisdom and the Spirit with which he was speaking.
11Then they secretly induced men to say, “We have heard him speak blasphemous words against Moses and against God.”
12 And they stirred up the people, the elders and the scribes, and they came up to him and dragged him away and brought him before the Council.
13 They put forward false witnesses who said, “This man incessantly speaks against this holy place and the Law;
14 for we have heard him say that this Nazarene, Jesus, will destroy this place and alter the customs which Moses handed down to us.”
15 And fixing their gaze on him (Stephen), all who were sitting in the Council saw his face like the face of an angel.
1 The high priest said, “Are these things so?”
2 And he (Stephen) said, “Hear me, brethren and fathers!
(Stephen continues in this chapter in the preaching of a sermon apropos the history of Israel and so on . . . . let's go to verse 51 and the context . . . Stephen is still preaching . . .)
51 “You men who are stiff-necked and uncircumcised in heart and ears are always resisting the Holy Spirit; you are doing just as your fathers did.
52 “Which one of the prophets did your fathers not persecute? They killed those who had previously announced the coming of the Righteous One, whose betrayers and murderers you have now become;
53 you who received the law as ordained by angels, and yet did not keep it.”
54 Now when they heard this, they were cut to the quick, and they began gnashing their teeth at him (Stephen).
55 But being full of the Holy Spirit, he (Stephen) gazed intently into heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God;
56 and he (Stephen) said, “Behold, I see the heavens opened up and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God.”
57 But they cried out with a loud voice, and covered their ears and rushed at him (Stephen) with one impulse.
58 When they had driven him (Stephen) out of the city, they began stoning him (Stephen); and the witnesses laid aside their robes at the feet of a young man named Saul.
59 They went on stoning Stephen as he called on the Lord and said, “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit!”
60 Then falling on his knees, he cried out with a loud voice, “Lord, do not hold this sin against them!” Having said this, he (Stephen) fell asleep (in death).
1 Saul was in hearty agreement with putting him (Stephen) to death.
And on that day a great persecution began against the church in Jerusalem, and they were all scattered throughout the regions of Judea and Samaria, except the apostles.
2 Some devout men buried Stephen, and made loud lamentation over him.
3 But Saul began ravaging the church, entering house after house, and dragging off men and women, he would put them in prison.
17 “It happened when I (The Apostle Paul) returned to Jerusalem and was praying in the temple, that I fell into a trance,
18 and I saw Him saying to me, ‘Make haste, and get out of Jerusalem quickly, because they will not accept your testimony about Me.’
19 “And I said, ‘Lord, they themselves understand that in one synagogue after another I used to imprison and beat those who believed in You.
20 ‘And when the blood of Your witness Stephen was being shed, I also was standing by approving, and watching out for the coats of those who were slaying him.’
21 “And He said to me, ‘Go! For I will send you far away to the Gentiles.’”
Now, "Mystery Babylon" killed Stephen--by stoning him.
Thus, the people who killed Stephen were NOT CHRISTIANS, but were the MYSTERY BABYLON.
Indeed, the scriptures above show that Stephen was bold in the Lord His God to stand up to "Mystery Babylon" (the Whore) in the 1st century and "rebuke" her for her "crimes" and so on.
Then, those of the "Mystery Babylon" stoned him (per Rev. 18:24).
Perhaps Stephen would have never been stoned if he had kept his shut his mouth . . .
But, Stephen was " . . . filled with the Holy Ghost . . ."
So, all of this above from the book of Acts has happened already (in the 1st century).
And "Mystery Babylon" was "carried" on "The Beast"--as indicated in the following scriptures from the book of Revelation:
Now, the words "sits" and "sitting" in Rev. 17:1 and 17:3 are allegiance words. The "Mystery Babylon", then, has an allegiance to "the Beast".Revelation 17:1-7
1 Then one of the seven angels who had the seven bowls came and spoke with me, saying, “Come here, I will show you the judgment of the great harlot who sits on many waters,
2 with whom the kings of the earth committed acts of immorality, and those who dwell on the earth were made drunk with the wine of her immorality.”
3 And he carried me away in the Spirit into a wilderness; and I saw a woman sitting on a scarlet beast, full of blasphemous names, having seven heads and ten horns.
4 The woman was clothed in purple and scarlet, and adorned with gold and precious stones and pearls, having in her hand a gold cup full of abominations and of the unclean things of her immorality,
5 and on her forehead a name was written, a mystery, “BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND OF THE ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH.”
6 And I saw the woman drunk with the blood of the saints, and with the blood of the witnesses of Jesus. When I saw her, I wondered greatly.
7 And the angel said to me, “Why do you wonder? I will tell you the mystery of the woman and of the beast that carries her, which has the seven heads and the ten horns.
Furthermore, the word "carries" in Rev. 17:7 is a support word. "The Beast", then, supports "Mystery Babylon"--but only after a "fashion."
(Actually, "The Beast" "hates" "The Whore.")
And we know that the book of Revelation was written for the 1st century saints primarily--even though it speaks to us today also (since Jesus is Alpha and Omega). Indeed, the saints in the Asian churches of that 1st-century time were encouraged as they read John's letter(s) to know that as they maintained faith and patience despite their trouble and persecution, they would be vindicated in martyrdom (or imprisonment) by YHWH.
So, to say that there was not a "Beast" during the 1st century--an "entity" that was beheading Christians back then (per Rev. 20:4-6)--is a bit incongruous.